STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Seoul church to face legal action for holding service against govt order on COVID-19

A church official explained that only pre-registered followers were allowed to attend the service, and they were kept at least one meter apart from one another.

Published: 05th April 2020 04:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th April 2020 04:29 PM   |  A+A-

South Korean soldiers wearing protective gears spray disinfectant as a precaution against the new coronavirus in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo | AP)

South Korean soldiers wearing protective gears spray disinfectant as a precaution against the new coronavirus in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo | AP)

By ANI

SEOUL: The Seoul city government on Sunday took legal action against a Protestant church for breaking the city's administration's order not to hold mass gatherings in a bid to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.

The city is going after Sarang Jeil Church, which pressed ahead with a service for the second consecutive Sunday. It had been banned by the city government from hosting mass events after it violated precautionary measures for containing COVID-19 during its service on March 22, Yonhap news agency reported.

The church, in the northeastern ward of Seongbuk, is associated with Jun Kwang-hoon, a conservative pastor who has led anti-government rallies in central Seoul. Jun, currently detained, was recently indicted for allegedly defaming President Moon Jae-in and breaking public election law ahead of the April 15 general elections.

FOLLOW COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES HERE

As part of the government's social distancing drive, churches are advised to check the temperatures of their followers and to maintain a distance of two meters during services, among other quarantine measures.

Sarang Jeil Church flouted those guidelines last month and ignored the government's order against offline services on Sunday.

A church official explained that only pre-registered followers were allowed to attend the service, and they were kept at least one meter apart from one another.

The city government sent three staffers to see if the church was adhering to quarantine rules.

Several police officers were also dispatched to guard against any potential clashes. The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said it had 517 officers stationed at 206 religious facilities across the city on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Kwanglim Church in the southern district of Gangnam and Yonsei Central Church in Guro in the southwestern part of Seoul also pushed ahead with offline services.

The government's initial social distancing drive had been scheduled to end Sunday, but it extended the campaign by two more weeks on Saturday. President Moon Jae-in took to social media to plead with religious groups to comply with social distancing recommendations.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp